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* RETURN, return, ye men of bluid,

“ And bring me back my chylde !" A dolefu voice fráe mid the ha

Reculd, wi' echoes wylde.
Bestraught wi’ dule and dreid, nae pouir

Had Hardyknute at a';
Full thrise he raught his ported speir,

And thrise he let it fa.

“O haly God, for his deir sake,

" Wha savd us on the rudeHe tint his praier, and drew his glaive,

Yet reid wi' Norland bluid. • Brayd on, brayd on, my stalwart sons, “ Grit cause we hae to feir;


ferce contemn
“ The hap they canna veir."

But ay

• Return, return, ye men of bluid,

* And bring me back my chylde! The dolefu voice frae mid the ha

Reculd, wi echoes wylde.
The storm grew ryfe, throuch a' the lift

The rattling thunder rang,
The black rain shour'd, and lichtning glent

Their harnisine alang.

What feir possest their boding breests

Whan, by the gloomy glour,
The castle ditch wi deed bodies

They saw was filled out owre !
Quoth Hardyknute“ I wold to Chryste

“ The Norse had wan the day,
“ Sae I had keipt at hame but anes,

“ Thilk bluidy feats to stay.”

Wi' speid they past, and syne they recht

The base-courts sounding bound,
Deip groans sith heard, and throuch the mirk

Lukd wistfully around.
The moon, frae hind a sable cloud,

Wi' sudden twinkle shane,
Whan, on the cauldrif eard, they fand

The gude Sir Mordac layn.
Besprent wi' gore, fra helm to spur,

Was the trew-heartit knicht;
Swith frae his steid sprang Hardyknute

Muv'd wi’ the heavy sicht.
“O say, thy master's shield in weir,

“ His sawman in the ha, “ What hatefu chance could hae the pouir

To lay thy cild sae law !"
To his complaint the bleiding knicht

Returnd a piteous mane,
And recht his hand, whilk Hardyknute

Claucht streitly in his ain:
• Gin eir ye see lord Hardyknute,

• Frae Mordac ye maun say, • Lord Draffan's treasoun to confute

• He usd his steddiest fay.' He micht nae mair, for cruel dethe

Forbad him to proceid; “ I vow to God, I winna sleip

« Till I see Draffan bleid. “ My sons your sister was owre fair :

“ But bruik he sall na lang “ His gude betide; my last forbode

“ He'll trow belyve nae sang. “ Bown ye my eydent friends to kyth

“ To me your luve sae deir ; “ The Norse' defeat mote weill persuade

“Nae riever ye neid feir."

tane my

The speirmen wi' a michty shout

Cryd • Save our master deir ! • While he dow beir the sway bot care

• Nae riever we sall feir.' ' Return, return, ye men of bluid

And bring me back my chylde!' The dolefu voice frae mid the ha

Reculd wi' echoes wylde.
"I am to wyte my valiant friends :"

And to the ha they ran,
The stately dore full streitly steiked

Wi' iron boltis thrie they fand.
The stately dore, thouch streitly steiked

Wi' waddin iron boltis thrie, Richt sune his might can eithly gar

Frae aff its hinges flie. * Whar ha ye

dochter deir ? « Mair wold I see her deid " Than see her in your bridal bed

* For a your portly meid. “ What thouch my gude and valiant lord

" Lye strecht on the cauld clay? “ My sons the dethe may ablins spair

« To wreak their sisters wae. Sae did she crune wi' heavy cheir,

Hyt luiks, and bleirit eyne;
Then teirs first wet his manly cheik

And snawy baird bedeene.
* Na riever here, my dame sae deir,

leil lord you see; . May hiest harm betide his life

• Wha brocht sic harm to thee! Gin anes ye may beleive my word,

• Nor am I usd to lie, • By day-prime he or Hardyknute

The bluidy dethe shall die.'

The ha, whare late the linkis bricht

Sae gladsum shind at een,
Whare penants gleit a gowden bleise

Our knichts and ladys shene,
Was now sae mirk, that, throuch the bound,

Nocht mote they wein to see
Alse throuch the southern port the moon

Let fa a blinkand glie.
“ Are ye in suith my deir luvd lord ?”

Nae mair she doucht to say, But swounit on his harnest neck

Wi' joy and tender fay.
To see her in sic balefu sort

Revived his selcouth feirs;
But sune she raisd her comely luik,

And saw his fa'ing tears.
" Ye are nae wont to greit wi' wreuch,

Grit cause ye ha I dreid; “ Hae a' our sons their lives redemd

“ Frae furth the dowie feid?” • Saif are our valiant sons, ye see,

• But lack their sister deir; When she's awa, bot any doubt,

• We hae grit cause to feir.' “ Of a' our wrangs, and her depart,

“ Whan ye the suith sall heir, * Nae marvel that ye hae mair cause,

“ Than ye yit weit, to feir. “ O wharefore heir yon feignand knicht “ Wi' Mordac did


send ? “ Ye suner wald hae perced his heart

ye his ettling kend." What

may ye mein my peirles dame ? • That knicht did muve my ruthe • We balefu mane; I did na doubt

• His curtesie and truthe.

“ Had

· He maun hae tint wi' sma renown

· His life in this fell rief; • Richt sair it grieves me that he heir

• Met sic an ill relief.' Quoth she, wi' teirs that down her cheiks

Ran like a silver shouir, « May ill befa the tide that brocht

* That fause knicht to our touir: - Ken’d ye na Draffan's lordly port,

" Thouch cled in knichtly graith “ Tho hidden was his hautie luik

“ The visor black benethe? • Now, as I am a knicht of weir,

• I thocht his seeming trew; • But, that he sae deceived my ruthe,

* Full sairly he sall rue.' « Sir Mordac to the sounding ha

“ Came wi' his cative fere;" My sire has sent this wounded knicht To

pruve your kyndlic care. • Your sell maun watch him a' the day,

• Your maids at deid of night; • And Fairly fair his heart maun cheir

• As she stands in his sicht.' “ Nae suner was Sir Mordac gane,

“ Than up the featour sprang," The luve alse o' your dochtir deir

• I feil na ither pang. • Tho Hardyknute lord Draffan's suit

• Refus’d wi' mickle pryde; * By his gude dame and Fairly fair

• Let him not be deny’d.' “ Nocht muvit wi' the cative's speech,

“ Nor wi' his stern command; “ I treasoun ! cry'd, and Kenneth’s blade “ Was glisterand in his hand.


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